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#1 of 18 Old 05-16-2005, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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WE are in need of some major help!! We (meaning *I* and DH will go along with it. ) have decided to simplify the kids toys. They have TOO many. They are TOO small to be around the baby, strung all over the house all the time, never get picked up by the kids unless I am there doing most of the work they might throw in a few, etc.

So, this morning as the kids started my day off with disrespect and disobedience I decided that this HAS to change.

Any insight into what I should keep around and what I should do with the excess. We have MAJOR toy overload.

I am thinking of keeping things with NO small parts (except the Legos these are my DS's creative outlet building and inventing new machines all the time), things with BATTERIES, and all but a handful of hot wheels. Oh and keep ALL the kids 2 player or more games for them to play together and as a family.

WE need this simplification SOOO bad. I think that this will reduce the clutter, the fighting, the mess, the confusion that toys are FREE (), etc.

Hopefully it will increase the respect, sibling LOVE not rivalry, and some more obedience in keeping the toy area clean!

Also, any suggestions for clutter, battery free, educational outlets?? Each child has an art box full of coloring books, markers, etc. Any other ideas on some family friendly toys/games/etc would be MUCH help!

Oh and the play area is in their room and they have a little 'nook' in the familt/entertainment room.

Stacy ~ Mama to 4 and #5 due in February
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#2 of 18 Old 05-16-2005, 01:09 PM
 
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I have the same question.....I'll be anxious to see what everyone has to say....

Here's me I married then we had dd15 , dd11 , ds10 , and then and now we and I blog!
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#3 of 18 Old 05-16-2005, 03:26 PM
 
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OK, start simple. Sorry it had to come to this that way!

This works for our family:
We bought these bins from ikea ($1 each) that have different colors. We use only blue, maybe for your family each child can have a seperate color and one other color for everyone. They come in green, blue, and red. Or check other stores for cheap bins- I know target has something like that too. I don't not recommend the stackable ones- things get lost and fast. Also they can tumble down and/or are only in one place.

Put all of the matchbox/hotwheels in one bin. Every last one! Put a picture on the front of a hot wheel (use packaging or look at their website) Do the same for ponies, polly pockets, barbies, legos, play dough, crayons etc. dollhouse furniture, little peoplem dress up clothes whatever. This way everything has a place and there is a place for everything. Put all these bins on a shelf or in a closet. This way when one bin is out, the others are away. Another cannot come out until the previous is picked up & put away. This system is also great for toy rotating which we do every few weeks or so. This system works well with husbands as well.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#4 of 18 Old 05-16-2005, 03:48 PM
 
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I agree with Amy- you really have to have some sort of organization. Both my kids have a toy cabinet with these bins in it and they are labeled with whatever toy is in it (trains, my little ponies).

Getting a larger bin (possibly one for each child if you have room) and rotating toys is a huge help at my house. I have two at my house, one for each kiddo and it's *full* of toys. Whenever they come across it (which isn't often!) in the garage they want to pull something out of it. The rule is if they pull one thing out one thing in the house has to go in. I have gone through the bins several times to get rid of things they never seem to want to play with (ie it ends up in the floor of the garage 5 or 6 times while they are foraging for something else).

To get rid of toys: I throw away the crappy plastic mickey d's toys. The kids never play with them more than once and then they are just stuff to step on in the floor. Stuffed animals I will tag $.10 at the next garage sale or donate them to freecycle or just to the kid next door. :LOL

Anything broken is automatically trash if it can't be put back together.

I stay on top of the kids stuff once a week, and if I come across anything broken during the week it goes in the trash as soon as I find it. It's really helped. My ds getting older has also helped with the migrating toy problem. Dd on the other hand carries her toys *everywhere* and we are constantly picking up after her. I'm hoping as she gets older too they'll stay in her room more.
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#5 of 18 Old 05-16-2005, 04:13 PM
 
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We've discovered an accidental solution to the "migrating toys" problem.

Of the zillions of things my Mom bought for ds at garage sales, one of them was a red wagon (basically a large plastic bin with wheels and a handle) filled with mega blocks (baby safe legos.)

I'm not sure what's happened to the blocks it originally came with, but it's currently being used for the medium sized cars,buses, and trucks (which is just about ALL he plays with, except for the one big car he rides on and the little cars he keeps in a tissue box.)

If he wants to "migrate" around the house with his toys, the wagon can migrate with him, and he can easily clean up wherever he is. My job is to thin out the toys when he's not looking so everything fits easily in the wagon! We're moving in about 6 weeks and I'm not planning to move with extra clutter!! I've been donating TONS of stuff, and I still have more to do.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#6 of 18 Old 05-16-2005, 04:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla

If he wants to "migrate" around the house with his toys, the wagon can migrate with him, and he can easily clean up wherever he is. My job is to thin out the toys when he's not looking so everything fits easily in the wagon! We're moving in about 6 weeks and I'm not planning to move with extra clutter!! I've been donating TONS of stuff, and I still have more to do.
That's a really good idea! Right now I have a medium sized box with handles in the living room for a toy catch-all every night. I just toss everything I find in the floor in and the kids sort through it the next day and take everything to their rooms (ie drop it just inside their bedroom doorways. :LOL ) Ahh, we'll get there.. eventually.
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#7 of 18 Old 05-16-2005, 06:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piscean_mama
I
To get rid of toys: I throw away the crappy plastic mickey d's toys. The kids never play with them more than once and then they are just stuff to step on in the floor. Stuffed animals I will tag $.10 at the next garage sale or donate them to freecycle or just to the kid next door. :LOL
A lot of times I will throw them in a box in my closet. I hand those out plus goodie bag stuff at trick or treating or save for the next goody bags. A lot of times dd never even opens them- so I save those for the tricktreaters etc.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#8 of 18 Old 05-16-2005, 06:43 PM
 
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Good idea! I have been putting them in the goddie bags for years. I never thought of having them be trick or treat fodder.
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#9 of 18 Old 05-16-2005, 11:38 PM
 
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last holloween thats all I gave out. We get less & less t& trrs every year but the kids really love getting this stuff. Its a bit early to think of it, but now you have 5 mos to plan.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#10 of 18 Old 05-16-2005, 11:54 PM
 
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We did this 6 months ago. I went through thier toys. Most things plasic GONE. No batteries either. I got wood toys for them. I too saved legos. Not all plastic is evil, just the really cheap stuff. I also saved the barbies. That is one concession for each one.

We are going to convert the attic to a playroom this summer, (I hope). It will be our imagination attic. Puppets, dress up, legos, reading, art, play house building & more.

The best thing I ever did was unplug the TV. I thought it would be so hard. After 2 days, the 3 yo stopped even trying to turn it on. They actually play with thier toys now.
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#11 of 18 Old 05-17-2005, 12:29 AM
 
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I was lucky that a friend shared this story with me before dd was born. Her 1 yr old with playing with another 1 yr old. The other 1 yr old had a doll in her hand and was holding it close, kissing it, and doing the mommy thing. My friends daughter looked at the doll and was waiting for it to pop up, dance do whatever. ALL of her toys had batteries, buttons, and things that made loud noises and lit up. She also has a potable dvd player for her dd now 5 since she was 2. I find it disgusting that this child has a dvd to watch in a restaurant so she will sit still. My dd (who was 2 at the time) was just fine.

We do not have toys that require batteries with maybe exception of 1 or 2 that were gifts. DD usually plays with them once and ditches it for her play kitchen, play doh, art supplies, etc. I usually put them away and eventually give away. She has more fun with her dollhouse, doll play area, or Trains. She also loves music and dancing.

We also try to keep the tv viewing to a minimum. But getting rid of stuff that the child watches it do will instead of the child actually doing it will open up a new nation for children- the imagination!

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#12 of 18 Old 05-19-2005, 03:53 PM
 
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At least once a week I feel like we have too many toys. Really, I think we're okay, but I feel overwhelmed, I think, because I've sort of stocked up in the basement for the next few years from garage sales and we still have all of the baby toys for our next baby. Pretty much, all of our toys fit into these categories.

1. building
2. imaginative play
3. music
4. gross motor
5. outdoor
6. art

Our criteria is that my son has to be able to do something with the toy, not just let the toy do something. No repeats of toys. If I find one I like better, the old one goes into the garage sale pile.

Most of our toys are made from natural materials, but not all.

We have only one thing that is electronic -- a train tunnel -- which I bought at a garage sale last weekend in a box of train track and will be sold at our garage sale at the end of June.

I think your plan for getting rid of stuff is right on. I haven't given my son a bunch of dress up clothes yet (this will be his Christmas present) and it's amazing what he makes up on his own. For a smoke mask, he uses the top of an air popcorn popper and a little plastic storage bowl. It's amazing how he comes up with his own stuff.

I think you'll find you can always get rid of more without "hurting" your children.

Also, you mention keeping the toy area clean. If my son doesn't clean up something at the end of the day, I clean up and the toys go away for a while (a day after he realizes they are missing). He remembers.
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#13 of 18 Old 05-19-2005, 04:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarasprings
I think your plan for getting rid of stuff is right on. I haven't given my son a bunch of dress up clothes yet (this will be his Christmas present) and it's amazing what he makes up on his own. For a smoke mask, he uses the top of an air popcorn popper and a little plastic storage bowl. It's amazing how he comes up with his own stuff.
The fact that he does it on his own is awesome. That he is using his brain to come up w stuff. Also its teaches him to be resourcefull and creative.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#14 of 18 Old 05-19-2005, 04:44 PM
 
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Got rid of about ten boxes of toys recently. We kept about a dozen small beanie baby type stuffed animals because that is what my 5.5 yr old uses for dramatic play, her doll house with a *few* accesories, her stove and sink, a *few* dishes, wooden blocks and one baby doll with bassinet. We got rid of my little ponies, barbies, doll accesories like bottles and disposable diapers, most doll clothes, all knicknack sized toys, lame dress up stuff that was cheaply made, large stuffed animals and all board games with pieces missing. In my son's room, he chose to keep a handful of hot wheel cars and his legos. He has three rubbermaid boxes full of legos and he plays with them almost exclusively. Now it's about asking the grandparents not to send toys over all the time :
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#15 of 18 Old 05-23-2005, 01:25 PM
 
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I just purged, though it was probably easier than most of you as ds is only 14 months old.

My criteria:
no batteries (unless he played the hell out of it, like the busy board)
no little pieces
no pointless little plastic objects
no commercial people (like a ronald mcdonald doll)
nothing creepy (like the laughing clown)

Now I did keep some plastic, like the busy board and the xylophone, and I did keep the dancing Po teletubbie b/c it plays songs and ds dances to it. These are all musical toys, though.

The stuffed animals are going to go, too. It makes me feel bad from my leftover stuffed animal guilt from childhood, but ds never ever ever plays with them and they are a mess.

For organization, we got a bunch of super-cheap wicker baskets and put one in each area/room of our house. We just toss them into the baskets when we need to clean up. We don't worry about organization yet b/c ds is too little.

So how do we tell our families and friends to not buy any more plastic battery toys and stuffed animals without offending them?

DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 due Dec. 2014
On hospital bedrest for pPROM since 23 weeks
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#16 of 18 Old 05-23-2005, 02:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Galatea

So how do we tell our families and friends to not buy any more plastic battery toys and stuffed animals without offending them?
I can understand your situation. I too have a similar criteria with exception to small parts since dd is out of that stage. I was upfront about it with most people around us mainly grandparents and close friends and family who would buy the stuff. If someone asks what she would like, (especially those prone to buying those battery toys) I usually would mention an educational toy or pretend toy like play food or puzzles and books. I figure you can never have enough books. Or give them your childs current clothing size.

When those kind of toys come in the house- return and exchange and make a point of saying so in a thank you- "Mommy exchanged it for a new Melissa and Doug Puzzle I really love! " Or put them aside, and get it out of the house at the next toy sale etc that comes up.

I also shy away from the stuffed animals/plush toys. They collect dust and germs anyway.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#17 of 18 Old 05-23-2005, 08:35 PM
 
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Toys are my decluttering stumbling block. I like a clutter free home but I can't even figure out how to get started with the toys. I just go from room to room being annoyed that they toys have taken over. I'm not unhappy with the toys themselves, we might have some annoying toys but they're all educational and good quality. My mom syas I need to box 90% of them and rotate them through 10% at a time. I don't know...

What is the first step?

Amy: Certified Professional Midwife and mom to Max (11) and Stella (6).
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#18 of 18 Old 05-24-2005, 12:11 AM
 
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Hi Amy-
I think Mom is right! Maybe do baby steps though- box 50% and then rotate.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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